INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION

1.5.3 IAEA

There is a broad ranging programme within the IAEA (EUR 20055 EN, 2001; IAEA, 2001; IAEA, 2000a; IAEA, 2000b), to promote safety in civil nuclear power reactors within its member states. The programme covers safety standards for nuclear reactors, radiation, waste and transport safety. It includes publications of Codes of Practice that establish the objectives and minimum requirements for the overall safety of NPPs. They cover topics such as: the regulation of NPPs, safety in the siting of plants, design for plant safety, safety in plant operation and quality assurance for safety.

The IAEA also publishes specific Safety Guides within its National Safety Standards (NUSS) programme. These Guides and the above Codes of Practice are recommendations issued by the IAEA for use in its member states but there is no requirement in general for a country to adopt these NUSS standards in legislation. However, the IAEA’s safety standards are endorsed by its member states, including the EU member and candidate states, as representing best international safety practice. Many documents have been published on safety fundamentals, requirements and guides. The NUSS programme covers the following areas: general safety including emergency preparedness and response and legal and governmental infrastructure, safety in the design and operation of plants, radiation safety, radioactive waste including discharge and disposal, and transport safety.

Significant recent safety standards publications in 2002 include safety requirements on preparedness and response to a nuclear or radiological emergency (IAEA/NSR/2002, 2003; IAEA Safety Standards Series No. GS-R-2, 2002). Additionally new and revised safety guides have been published in 2002 on legal and governmental infrastructure, a number on various aspects on power plant safety and one on radiological protection of patients and on the management of mining and milling waste.

The safety of the transport of radioactive material in a continuing priority for IAEA. The IAEA has introduced its transport safety appraisal service (TranSAS) to ensure that the agency’s transport regulations are consistently implemented across the member states and is fostering a greater degree of transparency and collaboration. With the increased security concerns following 11th September 2001, there is a reduction in commercial carriers that are available to carry radioactive sources or material. An international conference on the safety of transport of radioactive material is scheduled for July 2003 (IAEA/NSR/2002, 2003; International Conference on the Safety of Transport of Radioactive Material, 2003).

An important part of IAEA strategy is to co-operate with other international bodies such as the OECD/NEA and WANO, in addition to facilitating technical co-operation with developing countries.

The IAEA has a number of programmes directed towards future nuclear power development and applications (IAEA Technology, 2002). The potential of new innovative reactors has been reviewed in a co-operation with IEA and NEA of the OECD. The conclusions of the study have been provided to the US GIF, see below. Regarding other recent programmes, the IAEA initiated its International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO) in 2000. There are other initiatives, e. g. on passive cooling in evolutionary LWRs, super critical water reactors, HTRs, technologies for waste incineration, nuclear heating applications and desalination.

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